For every ’00s TV show that we were once obsessed with and still rewatch religiously, there was one that we tuned into but have since forgotten. These TV shows aren’t necessarily bad, they just don’t have the legacy of enduring teen TV series like Dawson’s Creek, The O.C., Everwood, One Tree Hill, and Gossip Girl. But one thing’s for sure: these forgotten shows make for entertaining teen (melo)drama.
These shows were created by the channels that have always ruled teen TV: ABC Family (now called Freeform) and The WB (now called The CW). Some were on The N (later changed to Teen Nick) or Discovery Kids. Some of these shows were cancelled early, and some never even made it to DVD. Some of these actors who went on to become super famous. Others have been forgotten or spiralled out in a big way.
Every show on this list aired in the first decade of the 2000s, although they may have started in the ’90s or ended in the ’10s. We’ve already explored ’00s teen movies that were completely forgotten, and now it’s time to do the same for TV.
Let all the teen drama come rushing back with 15 ‘00s Teen Shows You Completely Forgot About.
15. Kyle XY (2006-2009)
Kyle XY is about an alien (Matt Dallas) who looks just like a regular teen guy except that he has no belly button. He wakes up in a forest in Seattle and is taken in by the Trager family, who gives him the name Kyle. He eventually learns how to speak and function like a normal teen, and that includes learning how to act around his first crush, his neighbor Amanda.
It’s a unique take on the “alien who fell to Earth story”, and lasted three seasons. Late Glee star Cory Monteith has a recurring role in the series. ABC Family brought Matt Dallas back into the fold for a brief turn on Baby Daddy, but other than that, he hasn’t done much of note.
14. Summerland (2004-2005)
Summerland was the poor man’s The O.C. Both shows have a beachy setting: Summerland is set in fictional Playa Linda, CA, while The O.C. is set in Newport Beach in Orange County (also known as the O.C., b-tch!). Summerland follows three siblings (played by Jesse McCartney, Kay Panabaker, and some actor named Nick Benson) who go to live with their Aunt Ava (resident adult Lori Loughlin) after the death of their parents.
But let’s go back to Jesse McCartney for a second. This show features Jesse McCartney, the dreamy ’00s pop singer, as Bradin Westerly. Also, young Zac Efron is on this show– before he fixed his tooth gap. Efron plays Cameron Bale, the love interest for Kay Panabaker. Sara Paxton also makes an appearance as a troubled teen and girlfriend to Jesse McCartney. This show is worth a watch just for the combination of Jesse McCartney and Zac Efron– the tween dream of every girl growing up in the 2000s.
13. Greek (2007-2011)
It was extremely on-brand for ABC Family to do a show about frats and sororities. Greek (stylized as GRΣΣK) takes place at the fictional Cyprus-Rhodes University in Ohio and follows Greek life at the fraternities Kappa Tau Gamma and Omega Chi Delta and the sorority Zeta Beta Zeta.
A lot of the cast went on to do pretty well for themselves. Scott Michael Foster, who played Cappie (short for Captain John Paul Jones) went on to big roles in a number of shows including Californication, Halt and Catch Fire, and Once Upon a Time (as Kristoff). Most recently, he joined the cast of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as Rebecca’s hot boss Nathaniel, who she can’t help developing feelings for. The cast also includes Jake McDorman, who went on to star in Limitless (you also might recognize him from Aquamarine); Paul James (The Path); and Spencer Grammer (Rick and Morty).
12. Darcy’s Wild Life (2004-2006)
Darcy’s Wild Life was one of Discovery Kids’ attempts to cash in on scripted teen TV. The American-Canadian show stars Sara Paxton as Darcy, a fashionable California teen whose crazy actress mother decides to uproot them from Malibu to a farm in the middle of nowhere so Darcy can grow up in a more normal environment. Darcy doesn’t know anything about nature, but she takes a job at a veterinary clinic called Creature Comforts and has zany encounters with animals.
Paxton is the only recognizable name on this show– the actress has gone on to become something of a scream queen, starring in indie horrors like Cheap Thrills and The Innkeepers, plus The Last House on the Left‘s remake. Darcy has two friends: the naïve Kathi and Lindsay, whose dad is a vet at Creature Comforts. The resident cute guy is named Eli and he knows a lot about animals, making him the perfect package. The theme song is an unbelievably horrible rap.
11. Wildfire (2005-2008)
Wildfire was a show that combined teens’ love for horses with teens’ love for steamy romance on a ranch. It starred Genevieve Padalecki (née Cortese), who would go on to marry Supernatural star Jared Padalecki in 2010. They met when Genevieve Padalecki appeared on Supernatural from 2008-2009, playing the demon Ruby.
On Wildfire, Genevieve Padalecki plays Kris, troubled teen who is good with horses. After she gets out of juvie she has an opportunity to start again as a worker at the family-run Raintree ranch. The actress seems to have retired from show business in 2012. Her two love interests are played by Micah Alberti and Ryan Sypek, two guys who look exactly like ABC Family love interests (and also each other). Both actors fell into obscurity.
Michael Piller, the show’s co-creator, is notable for his contributions to the Star Trek universe. He co-created Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as well as executive produced and wrote Star Trek: The Next Generation.
10. Life Is Wild (2007-2008)
Life is Wild follows Danny Clark, a white New York City veterinarian, and his family after they move to South Africa to live on his father-in-law’s game reserve. The protagonist here is his daughter Katie (Leah Pipes, who went on to appear in The Originals). She develops a close friendship with a local, Tumelo (Atandwa Kani), but they eventually realize that there’s something more than friendship between them. Kani can be seen as Young T’Chaka in Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther.
Show business was not kind to two of the other young actors on Life is Wild, Calvin Goldspink and Andrew St. John: both seem to have retired from acting. Life is Wild was cancelled after one season and is doomed to be one of those short-lived series that never makes it to DVD and is lost forever, except in the memories of ’00s kids. The British series it was based on, Wild at Heart, fared much better; it ran for seven seasons.
9. Lincoln Heights (2006-2009)
This ABC Family show follows Eddie Sutton, a black police officer who moves his family back to his dangerous old neighborhood of Lincoln Heights, California in hopes of helping to make it a better place to live. The show also featured interracial romance: Eddie’s daughter Cassie begins dating Charles, a white boy.
Russell Hornsby (Eddie Sutton) went on to star on Grimm. Jeannette McCurdy played a supporting role in 2007; the same year she found fame as Sam on iCarly. The supporting cast also includes Tyler Posey, who went on to star in Teen Wolf, and has also been tapped for a role in season four of Jane The Virgin.
Creator Seth Freeman has been writing for TV since the ’70s, including work on Lou Grant (starring Ed Asner) and American Dreamer (starring Carol Kane and Jeffrey Tambor). Lincoln Heights marked his second outing as a showrunner. The show was cancelled after four seasons.
8. Jack & Bobby (2004-2005)
Jack & Bobby had quite the premise: the series was a fictional docu-drama about the life of U.S. President Bobby McCallister. It was set in 2049, eight years after McCallister was elected. The story is told through reenactments of McCallister’s childhood with his mother and older brother Jack as well as talking head interviews with the White House staff.
The show starred a young Logan Lerman as Bobby and Matt Long as Jack. You might recognize Long from Sydney White. He also appeared on Mad Men and Private Practice. The rest of the cast included John Slattery, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Paré, and Christine Lahti as the boys’ mother. Prolific showrunner Greg Berlanti was one of the co-creators. He created Everwood and was a co-creator for the current slate of CW superhero shows: Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. Although Jack & Bobby was cancelled after one season, Lahti was nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for her role.
7. Clubhouse (2004-2005)
You definitely watched this show because you had a huge crush on Jeremy Sumpter after he played Peter Pan in Disney’s underrated 2003 live-action remake, right? Clubhouse was based on the real story of Matthew McGough, a batboy for the Yankees. He detailed his experience in the book Bat Boy: Coming of Age with the New York Yankees. Sumpter stars as batboy Pete Young, who gets to work for his favorite team; the fictional New York Empires.
Christopher Lloyd, Mare Winningham, and former Superman Dean Cain were also on the show. Leah Pipes made an appearance on the ill-fated series before going on to her own ill-fated series, Life is Wild. Clubhouse was swiftly cancelled by CBS. Sumpter later won a recurring role as J.D. McCoy on Friday Night Lights, but he hasn’t been up to much after that.
6. Young Americans (2000)
Young Americans was a spinoff of Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003) that never reached the heights of its predecessor. It debuted on The WB in 2000 as a summer replacement for Dawson’s Creek, but it only lasted for one eight-episode season. The show follows a group of teens at prestigious boarding school Rawley Academy in the fictional New England town of New Rawley. Among the cast were Kate Bosworth and Ian Somerhalder, who went on to great success. Cast member Katherine Moennig went on to star in The L Word and Ray Donovan.
The series’ protagonist William “Will” Krudski (Rodney Scott) first appeared in Dawson’s Creek as an old childhood friend of the group. Guest stars included Michelle Monaghan, Charlie Hunnam, and Matt Czurchy, who went on to star as Logan in the WB’s hit show Gilmore Girls.
5. What I Like About You (2002-2006)
After Amanda Bynes proved her comedic talent on The Amanda Show and All That, she graduated to this more mature TV series. Jennie Garth of Beverly Hills, 90210 fame costarred with her. Bynes plays Holly, who goes to live with her older sister Valerie (Garth) after her father moves to Japan. The series is named after the 1980 song by The Romantics, and the show’s theme song was a cover of the track by the all-female band Lillix.
Co-creator Dan Schneider knew Bynes well: he had created The Amanda Show and was a writer and executive producer on All That. The man was a Nickelodeon legend: he went on to create Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly, Victorious, and Sam & Cat. You owe him a big thank you for your childhood. Bynes, of course, was a superstar in the 2000s but has since suffered personal problems that seem to have permanently derailed her career
4. Big Wolf on Campus (1999-2002)
You might remember this series for the truly awful wolf make up that star Brandon Quinn had to wear. The poor guy looked terrible. Quinn played Tommy P. Dawkins, a teen who is bitten by a werewolf and uses his new power to protect his hometown, Pleasantville, from supernatural creatures like vampires, zombies, and ghosts. Ironically, everyone in town thinks The Pleasantville Werewolf is the bad guy. Tommy’s goth friend Merton J. Dingle (yes, that is really his name) is an expert on the supernatural and helps his pal battle evil.
After Big Wolf on Campus, Quinn booked guest roles on Charmed, The O.C., The Fosters, and Entourage. Rachelle Lefevre, who played Tommy’s love interest Stacey, went on to snag a role in the Twilight franchise as the vampire Victoria, who is intent on hunting Bella. She also starred on the sci-fi series Under the Dome.
3. Radio Free Roscoe (2003-2006)
Let’s break down what this confusing, terrible title even means. The show follows four New Jersey teens who attend Henry Roscoe High School. They hate the school’s dictatorial radio station Cougar Radio and decide to start a pirate radio station called Radio Free Roscoe.
Each of our young broadcasters have a radio name to conceal their identity. There’s Ray “Pronto” Brennan, Robbie “Question Mark” McGrath, Lily “Shady Lane” Randall, and Travis “Smog” Strong/Miss Communication. The Canadian show aired on The N in the U.S.
Guest stars included Canadian pop singer Skye Sweetnam and Jake Epstein, star of the Canadian show Degrassi: The Next Generation, which was also shown on The N. That’s not the only time Radio Free Roscoe and Degrassi: The Next Generation shared cast members. After Radio Free Roscoe ended, Kate Todd (Lily Randall) and Nathan Stephenson (Robbie McGrath) graduated to roles on Degrassi: The Next Generation.
2. Strange Days at Blake Holsey High (2002-2006)
Strange Days at Blake Holsey High was a Canadian show that aired on Discovery Kids and NBC in the U.S. The series follows the five-student Science Club at fictional boarding school Blake Holsey High. Along with their faculty supervisor Professor Z, they investigate the black hole located within the school and other mysterious phenomena that happen there.
The show is also known as Black Hole High (note the similarity to Blake Holsey High). Strange Days was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Series in 2006 and 2007 as well as getting nods for Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series in 2005 and 2006. Three out of the five young leads– Shadia Simmons, Michael Seater, and Robert Clark– were also on the Disney Channel show Life With Derek.
1. 10 Things I Hate About You (2009-2010)
Yes, this is a series based on the iconic 1999 movie. You might ask, “Why reboot 10 Things I Hate About You as a TV show?” But here’s the thing: it was actually pretty decent. Ethan Peck (grandson of noted handsome actor Gregory Peck) and Lindsey Shaw were perfectly cast as Patrick and Kat, respectively. Their chemistry was excellent. Before this, Shaw played Ned’s likable pal Moze (aka Jennifer Ann Mosely) on Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. Character actor and American treasure Larry Miller reprised his role as Kat and Bianca’s strict dad. Not all of the actors were stellar, however: Nicholas Braun did not even come close to doing justice to the role of Cameron.
So where are the two lovebirds now? Tragically, Ethan Peck’s career failed to take off, although he’s still acting. Thankfully, ABC Family recognized Lindsey Shaw’s obvious talent and gave her a recurring role on the ever-popular Pretty Little Liars.
How many of these TV shows did you remember? Are there any that should have been on this list? Sound off in the comments.
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